Fox Searchlight Takes on Reese Witherspoon's 'Wild'

7:47 PM PST 07/16/2013 by Gregg Kilday
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Reese Witherspoon

Nick Hornby is writing the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir about a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Fox Searchlight has acquired worldwide rights to Wild, a screen adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir that will star Reese Witherspoon.

Nick Hornby is writing the screenplay, and Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, who originally optioned the book through their Pacific Standard banner, will produce with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. The film is scheduled to begin production in the late fall once a director is chosen and will be overseen by Fox Searchlight Pictures president of production Claudia Lewis and senior vp production David Greenbaum.

The book recounts how Strayed, after the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, decided to a hike a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. 

“We are so excited to be working with Fox Searchlight to bring Wild to the screen. It is an extraordinary company that continually strives to bring original, inspirational films to the marketplace,” Witherspoon said.

“We have long been huge fans of this visceral, inspirational and moving personal story with such a strong female perspective,” Searchlight presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula said in announcing their company’s involvement.  “It has been a dream of the studio to work with Reese Witherspoon and we are thrilled to be partnered with her, Bruna Papandrea, Bill Pohlad and Nick Hornby.”

The deal was brokered by Searchlight senior vp business affairs Megan O'Brien with CAA and Management 360 along with Hansen Jacobson on behalf of Witherspoon and Steve Hutensky on behalf of Papandrea.

Since its launch last year Pacific Standard also has acquired the best-selling book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which David Fincher will direct this fall.

River Road Entertainment recently produced Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which Searchlight is releasing Oct. 18.

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